I get a lot of requests to review albums. It’s a consequence and a blessing of being a writer. I’m not particularly enamored by all the new music I hear, but once in a while, I’ll hear something and can’t stop listening. The words begin to formulate in that vast expanse of space behind my eyes, endorphins are released in epic fashion and energetic pulses course through my veins making my hair stand on end.
That is the way I felt when I listened to Dreamers of the Ghetto’s debut album Enemy/Lover on Temporary Residence Limited Records. Often times a band’s first album is a process, a learning experience if you will. Even The Beatles’ first album wasn’t anything particularly special. A first album is supposed to merely get your name out there. Maybe you’ll have a few tracks that people hear potential in, but rarely, if ever, does an entire album allow you see the greatness in a band.
Dreamers of the Ghetto (which is, by far, the best band name around), hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, have crafted one of the best albums of 2011. Lyrically sound, musically intransient and perfectly together. So reminiscent of Bono (from U2 not Cher) is lead singer Luke Jones, that I had to find a picture to make sure this wasn’t a side project and it isn’t. When I first heard this album I envisioned a grandiose arena setting, big lights, thousands of people screaming in joy and an Arcade Fire-esque fervor sweeping through the subconscious of all those seeing them play.
Listening to tracks like, “Tether” a 7:27 magnum opus that feels like an ambient dreamscape. I’m disinclined to like longer songs. Unless you’re Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin or The Band, to name a few, it’s usually best that you stick to songs under five minutes, but at no time was I feeling the drag of overexertion of the human auditory systems. It is an album that harkens back to the time when albums were contrived as a whole and not a grouping of songs to be sold for ninety-nine cents on Amazon.I am pretty amiable to many different styles and genres of music. I like a lot and hate even more. I was once sent an album of cover songs done by Gregorian Chants and I wasn’t sure if it was a gag album or on the level. I pocketed that one. This album, however, transcends genres and just rocks the fuck out of all the preconceived notions I had about debut albums.